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Kerala women form 620-km long human 'wall'

Kerala women form 620-km long human wall
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Thiruvananthapuram: In a first, lakhs of women stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the national highways, creating a 620 km-long human 'wall' from the northern end of Kasaragod to the southern tip here on Tuesday as part of a state-sponsored initiative to uphold gender equality.

The event comes days after thousands of devotees lit 'Ayyappa Jyothi' (lighting of sacred lamps) and lined up from Hosangadi in Kasargod to Kanyakumari, vowing to protect the age-old customs and traditions of Sabarimala.

On Tuesday, women from various walks of life - writers, athletes, actors, politicians and techies, government officials and homemakers - stood across the highways crisscrossing through the 14 districts in the state as the event commenced at 4 pm.

Expressing solidarity, thousands of men also lined up parallel forming a second human 'wall'. The 'Women's wall' was conceived in the backdrop of frenzied protests witnessed in the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala after the CPI(M)-led LDF government decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict, allowing all women to pray at the Ayyappa shrine.

The event is part of an initiative to protect secular values, gender equality and to spread a message against those trying to push society into the dark ages, organisers of the programme said.

Before the formal start of the event, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan garlanded the statue of social reformer 'Ayyankali'.

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